Q: I would like full custody of my 11 year old daughter. Her father has been in and out of her life her whole life. He was in jail twice 4 years each time. He was recently released October 2014. while he was incarcerated he would always call and write to our daughter, but since he was released he has not been there at all. He purposely ignores her calls and text messages and has answered just to tell her that he’s ignoring her. My daughter is currently seeing a therapist, she’s very emotional and often sad that she can’t have the type of relationship she would like with her dad. It has gotten to the point where she told me she would rather him be in jail because at least in jail she could talk to him. I feel like he’s causing her tons of psychological damage. I also would like to travel with her but I need his consent for that and its nearly impossible considering he ignores both of us. Is all this enough to petition for custody? Can I also petition for child support? He has never paid any child support and I don’t think he intends to do so at all.
A: David’s Answer: One would think based on the information you’ve provided that you have a very good chance of getting sole custody. Since the child is already in your custody, you automatically qualify to file for child support (you don’t need to establish custody thru the court to do so). There are several other factors to assess, however, so you should schedule a consult with a Bronx Child Custody attorney for a full assessment. – David Bliven, Bronx Child Custody Attorney, (www.Blivenlaw.net)